2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Smart is presenting the Forvision at the IAA. The concept vehicle gives a glimpse into the future of the small electric car. The study was developed together with BASF.
By Frank Mertens
The time has come at the International Motor Show (IAA) in mid-September. Then the new electric smart is presented. The third generation of the two-seater from the Daimler subsidiary will not only have a continuous electric motor output of 48 instead of the previous 27 hp, but also have a range that has been increased to 140 kilometers. "With the new Smart Electric Drive, we will once again set standards," believes Smart brand boss Martin Hülder.
Smart Forvision celebrates its premiere at the IAA
At the IAA, Smart will also announce the price for its small electric speedster, which will be mass-produced for the first time from next year. How high it will be, however, Hülder is silent. However, the price will be so attractive that it will enable a wide range of buyers to drive electrically, according to Hülder.
At the auto show in Frankfurt, however, the Stuttgart-based company went one step further and presented a glimpse into the future of electric mobility with the Smart Forvision. The concept vehicle was developed together with BASF. With this vehicle, both partners want to show what is possible through the use of new materials and technologies in terms of energy savings and an increase in range. And that's a lot. "All in all, with the same motorization of our current Smart, we get a range plus of 20 percent," says Hülder.
Smart rims weigh three kilos less
This is achieved through the interplay of new concepts and materials for insulation, energy management, painting and lightweight construction. By using a plastic rim developed by BASF that is suitable for mass production, a weight saving of three kilos per wheel can be achieved. As Volker Warzelhan, Vice President Polymer Research and Thermoplastics at BASF, explains, the new rim is made of the long glass fiber reinforced plastic Ultramid Structure and offers a weight saving of up to 30 percent compared to metal. And the cost? They should be representable. Although there has not yet been a final cost calculation, "we have a price in mind like that of a light alloy wheel," says Warzelhan.
The use of other lightweight construction materials such as the Tridion passenger cell or the doors, in which carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy resin is used, makes an important contribution to further weight reduction. "Compared to steel, we can save more than 50 percent weight by using such materials," says Warzelhan. Even compared to aluminum, which is already light, a 30 percent weight reduction can be achieved with BASF materials. Of course, thanks to their short curing times, the resin systems are suitable for large-scale production, says Warzelhan.
More efficient thermal management
The Smart Forvision also has innovative approaches in other areas such as thermal management. The use of high-performance foams not only achieves better thermal insulation, but also the paintwork. Anyone who drives a black car knows that it heats up quickly in the blazing sun and creates a sauna-like interior in summer. A special paint from BASF can help here. "By using special color pigments, we call them cool pigments, we can significantly reduce the heating of even dark surfaces," says Christian Fischer, head of BASF polymer research.
The new paintwork ensures significant temperature differences. For example, a conventional dark paint that is used today on a Smart heats the body to 47 degrees in sunlight; with the new reflective BASF paint, it is only 35 degrees. A difference that also ensures a cooler interior. The Smart Forvision also uses an infrared-reflective film in the glazing to prevent the interior from heating up too much, so that the passenger compartment does not have to be cooled down by the air conditioning, so that energy is saved.
To a small extent, the Smart Forvision is also its own energy generator. This is ensured by small dye solar cells on the roof with which at least a small amount of electricity can be generated and thus the battery can be relieved. This also applies to the so-called organic light-emitting diodes, which illuminate the interior and which are up to 50 percent more efficient compared to standard energy lamps.
These technologies can still only be seen in the Forvision study. But it is precisely the weight-reduced rims or the new paintwork that are likely to find their way into series production in 2014 before the new Smart Fortwo, developed in cooperation with Renault, is launched. After all, Smart must shorten the waiting time for its customers to launch the new Fortwo with innovations. In the long run, it is not enough to simply offer your customers new special editions of a model that is now getting on in years.
To the video of the Smart Forvision
To the IAA picture show